Episode 12: The Star-Pyramids of Egypt, Part Two

The Cast watch, astonished, as the young man Khama regenerates, and suddenly registers to the psychic senses of the Artist and Susan as a new Time Lord:

Both of them are aghast at the transformation, as the boy sits up, then climbs to his feet. He is confused and disoriented, and the Cast struggles to figure out their next move. The Artist wants to make for the Throne Room, and they try to get Khama to show them the way, but the boy is not handling his regeneration well, having never experienced anything like it. After several efforts to explain using everything from astrophysics to the Will of God, they get him calmed down enough to lead them through the passages. Soon, however, it becomes clear that regeneration trauma is kicking in, and the boy is becoming unstable.

* * *

Meanwhile, at the funerary parlor, Don has been given his first task as an apprentice embalmer: sweep the front room and stock the shelves. If he does well and proves himself worthy, the priests tell him, he might in a year or two get to assist with an embalming.

Well, he thinks to himself, That won't do.

The moment he's left alone, Don slips into the back room, from where the thick, heady scent of spices and resin emanates. He sneaks back to observe the priests embalming a fresh body, removing the organs into canopic jars and the brains through the nose, and watches, fascinated. He does notice that all of the priests seem to be wearing costume necklaces that look like poor reproductions of an ancient Egyptian style, but not authentic.

His fascination ends when one of the priests calls for a servant to remove the jars, and two creatures with the bodies of men and the heads of jackals enter the room! They take the jars and leave; Don captures a video clip with his cell phone and sends it to Davan with the message "Whiskey Tango Foxtrot?"

Davan responds: "Looks like humans with jackal heads to me."

Don says, "Thanks, you're a big help."

The Artist, seeing the clip, sends a message: "Be careful. Those are servants of Sutekh. Also take care: there are Drosmians in the priesthood."

Don snags a bone knife from a nearby shelf and sneaks back out. As he makes his way back to the front room, he nearly walks into an animated mummy. Again he takes a video clip and sends it off once he's back in the foyer.

The Artist's response: "This is very bad. "

Don: "No shit!"

He sends a message to Emily: "Em? Can you be any better help than them?"

Emily sends him a response: ":)"

The Artist messages him: "Get back to the TARDIS if you can. We'll meet you there. Have someone who needs the Zero Room."

Just then, a voice rings out behind Don: "What are you doing?"

Don says, "Cleaning the front room?"

"With a Technological device?"


He looks over his shoulder to see a priest with the two jackal-headed creatures. Without hesitation, Don turns and runs out the front door, pursued through the streets by the Drosmian priests.

At the same time a district away, Khama manages to get the Cast back out into the streets so they can also head for the TARDIS. They begin moving through the streets, and James steals a donkey just as Khama collapses, senseless. As they try to make their way to the TARDIS, a voice rings out behind them: "Stop them! They tried to assassinate the Pharaoh!"

James snatches Khama off the stubborn donkey and throws the boy over his shoulder, and the Cast starts running. The Artist hurls a flash bomb at the guards to provide cover. Chaos erupts; a Drosmian-priest snaps the head off of a citizen who gets in his way. The Cast runs through networks of alleys and streets trying to lose the Drosmians and city guard so they can make their way back to the TARDIS.

The Artist feels a sharp pain on the back of his head and sees stars, then everything goes black. [An enemy rolled 28 for stealth, and hit him in the head for a total of 70 points of Endurance damage]

Don, meanwhile, steals a horse and, holding on for dear life, urges it to a full run out of town. The priests make to follow, but by the time they mount up, Don has a good lead on them.

The rest of the Cast make it all the way to the city limits before realizing they've lost the Artist. Frustrated, they decide heading back to the TARDIS to take care of Khama and get away from the Drosmians is their first order of business. James' desert survival skills get them there quickly and cover their tracks well.

The Cast all reunite at the TARDIS and place Khama in the zero room, then concoct a plan to rescue the Artist involving fireworks and a radio detonator. They talk about bringing the TARDIS into the equation, but a check of her systems reveals she has a good day and a half still to recharge before she'll be any real use to anyone.

Meanwhile, the Artist, having awakened in a plush sleeping chamber with satin and silk cushions, lavishly furnished, is paid a visit from the Queen of Time. He greets her: "Hello, Zeidu."

"So," she says, "You've finally worked it out."

"Who else would it be but my wife?"

Zeidu proceeds to deliver the megalomaniacal super villain speech about how the Artist should join her and together they can raise a new Gallifrey in the heavens, pointing out that she has managed to turn humans into Time Lords. When he calls it "genocide of the human race," she calls it "Evolution. We were no different than them, once, but we evolved. Why not them?"

He refuses, and as quickly as she was tender and pleased to be with him, she turns sour, vengeful, and nearly violent, screaming at him that he always was a coward and he can go ahead and abandon her again, then turns and leaves him, sealing the door behind her.

Emilie uses her psychic powers to see the Artist, alive, looking sad, and playing some sort of solitaire game (Go) on the floor of a posh room. Susan then telepathically contacts him to find out where he is (the palace, he thinks) and to let him know they're coming to get him. He entreats them to hurry, as he's just had a visit from the Queen of Time, who wishes to turn Earth into a new Gallifrey. Susan is tempted by the prospect until the Artist proposes that genetically altering a race out of existence is the same as slaughtering them all.

The Cast worry a bit about leaving Khama in the Zero Room, but eventually decide there's nothing for it, and Susan assures them that Time Lords aren't born with the knowledge of how to fly a TARDIS, so there's not much trouble he could get into. They lock him in when they leave, and head back for Memphis. Using a combination of his photographic memory and Civil Engineering skills, Chuck works out the best path back to the palace, and the best place to plant the fireworks, for maximum effect. He then, using his chemistry skills, works up an acid canister that will completely dissolve the radio transmitter once it's used, ensuring no anachronistic technology will be left behind.

They make for the entrance to the escape tunnels, then set off the fireworks and go.

Inside the palace, the Artist hears the explosions, and sees the flashes of colored light echo through the halls. He rushes to the door and screams, "It's the wrath of the gods! We've angered the gods!"

Chaos erupts in the palace as well as the streets.

Moments later, the door to the Artist's room bursts open and a beautiful young girl enters:

The Artist senses that she, too, is a Time Lord, and wonders how far the Queen's experiments have gone.

"Quickly!" the girl says. "Come with me!"

Any way out is a way out, so the Artist follows. He asks "Who are you?"

"My name is Hetepheres," she says. "When I heard they were holding you here, I had to see you and get you out. The rest, I'll explain later, when there's time. We must hurry!"

The Artist recognizes the name: Hetepheres II, daughter of Khufu and Queen Meritates, who will go on to be a powerful woman in Egyptian history, living and serving as queen through several pharaohs.

He allows the girl to lead him through the palace, and eventually, they meet up with the rest of the Cast. Hetepheres leads them back to the escape tunnels through a different exit, and when they are safe, they stop to take a breather. Chuck and Susan seal the exit with their sonic screwdrivers, and Hetepheres says, "Those devices...Mother told me of them, but I thought they were a myth."

"So," The Artist says, "You are the Queen's daughter?"

She nods.

"And...you were born this way? With two hearts?"

"I was. As were my parents."

"Wait," Davan says. "Khufu is a Time Lord?"

"No," she responds. "Khufu is not my natural father, though he doesn't know it."

"Then who is your father?" The Artist asks. "Is he alive? Is he here?"

She looks the Artist square in the eye. "I am looking at him."

To Be Concluded...

Memorable Quotes

Khama: "What happened to me? What's wrong with my body?"
James: "Artist, I think it's time that you had that talk with the boy. You know, the one about how a young boy's body starts to change..."

The Artist (via text message): "Drosmians are in the priesthood. Beware of the jackals."
Don: "F^#k!"

Don (the player): "So I maintain composure?"
Director: "Yes."
Robert (The Artist's player): "And realize that it's highly flammable."

Don (as he nearly runs into a walking mummy): "And... I take another movie."

Don (text message): "Where are you guys?"
Davan (text message): "In the sewers. Everything sucks. And there's a new Time Lord here."

Don: "Are you guys heading back to the TARDIS?"
Davan: "Yes. Or committing suicide. Haven't decided yet."

Eric (Davan's player): "Whatever it is, hit it with a broom and run."

Chuck: "You have an unlimited supply of water in your pants, don't you? Tea. Earl Grey. Hot."
The Artist: "I keep telling you to stop watching Star Trek!"

Don (on a horse): "Just hold on... Just hold on.... Just hold on..."
Robert: "10&2... 10&2... Wait, wrong vehicle."

Davan: "Who put him [Sutekh] to sleep in the first place?"
Susan: "All the rest of his kind, and they died doing it."
Davan: "Then they won't be any f^#king help, will they?"

Don: "We should stay together. We usually f^#k up when we split up."

(Re: Emilie and Susan having to go bare-breasted to fit in with the natives)
Don: "Alright, Emilie, take one for the team!"

Davan: A 1967 Shelby Cobra won't go in the desert. It's not built for off-roading.
James: It will be after I A-Team it.
Emilie: "Nobody's touching the car! I don't technically own it; it belongs to the record company!"
James: "Well, after we A-Team it, we can always put it back the way it was."
Davan: "Or just go to 1967 and buy you a new one. The studio won't know the difference."

Robert: "Cause she's all psychic and s#!t."

The Artist (re: fireworks): "It's the wrath of the gods!"

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